Dilbert is an animated television series spin-off of the comic strip of the same name, produced by Adelaide Productions, Idbox, and United Media and distributed by Columbia TriStar Television. The first episode was broadcast on January 25, 1999, and was UPN’s highest-rated comedy series premiere at that point in the network’s history; it lasted two seasons on UPN and won a Primetime Emmy before its cancellation.
The first season centers on the creation of a new product, the “Gruntmaster 6000”. The first three episodes involve the idea process (“The Name”, “The Competition”, and “The Prototype” respectively); the fifth (“Testing”) involves having it survive a malevolent company tester named “Bob Bastard” (who is somewhat like Dilbert before being humiliated and disfigured), and the sixth (“Elbonian Trip”) is about production in the famine-stricken fourth-world country of Elbonia. The prototype is delivered to an incredibly stupid family in Squiddler’s Patch, Texas, during the thirteenth and final episode of the season, “Infomercial”, even though it was not tested in a lab beforehand. The family’s misuse of the prototype creates a black hole that sucks Dilbert in; he instantly wakes up in the meeting seen at the start of the episode, then locks his design lab to keep the prototype from being shipped out.
The second season features seventeen episodes, bringing the total number of episodes to thirty. Unlike the first season, the episodes are not part of a larger story arc and have a different storyline for each of the episodes (with the exception of episodes 26 and 27, “Pregnancy” and “The Delivery”). Elbonia is revisited once more in “Hunger”; Dogbert still manages to scam people in “Art”; Dilbert is accused of mass murder in “The Trial”; and Wally gets his own disciples (the result of a complicated misunderstanding, the company launching a rocket for NASA, and a brainwashing seminar) in episode 16, “The Shroud of Wally”.
Learn more about the concepts, principles and symbolism behind the subliminals found in this television series: